Stephanie sez, "Somtow Sucharitkul, a notable director, was informed that posting footage of himself, conducting Strauss' Radetzky March was a violation of Harry Fox's supposed copyright on that piece. That 164-year-old piece: 'Perhaps HFA controls the rights to a modern arrangement of this piece, such as a school band version or something, but this is no modern adaptation. It's the original, and Johann Strauss Sr's copyright expired a century ago. Do let me know if I can be of assistance (for instance, I could perhaps get the Austrian Embassy to produce a copy of Strauss's death certificate?)'"
Somtow is also a notable sf writer, who's written under both SP Somtow and Somtow Sucharitkul. Met him once at a Worldcon. Nice guy. Good writer. Talented polymath. World-class snarker!
Carole McNutt caught this fantastic film of sea lions having an absolute BALL. For over an hour we all just marveled at these playful, beautiful, incredible animals. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.
Our pal Tim Biskup just launched his first Kickstarter project: a double vinyl LP re-issue of a 1989 cassette by his band, Big Butter.
Tim Biskup is an artist. You might know his work. If not, Click here to check out his website. He's well known as a painter, sculptor and designer, but he's also a musician. He and his brother, Mike Biskup started a band called Big Butter way back in 1986. Over the last 25+ years they've made a bunch of records and played a lot of shows. They're a very strange band, as you might imagine. One of their favorite and most obscure recordings, BRAINSLED, was released as a cassette in 1989, but was never released on vinyl. It's been a favorite of Big Butter fans since it came out. One guy got it stuck in his car stereo for 6 years and he didn't even care. He just drove around listening to it. It's that good!Brainsled 2xLP by Big Butter
Here's the audio from Disney's classic "Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion," narrated by Thurl Ravenscroft, starring a young -- Andy Griffith show era -- Ronnie Howard. I had this in the original Disneyland Little Long Playing Record edition, and played it to death, as you might expect.
Metafilter's Hippybear has included links to lots of supplementary material in a MeFi post, too.
There's also a beautiful CD reissue from Disney, with excellent liner notes and additional data-tracks with the visuals from the original Little Long-Playing Record.
USA Today's Bryan Mansfield has written before about music that became more meaningful to him during his treatment for colon cancer. One of the songs that really stood out for him was Delta Rae's "Dance in the Graveyards." The North Carolina folk-rock ensemble just released a video for that song, and it's really great. Bryan writes:
The macabre but ultimately touching and lovely clip offers a twist on typical Halloween fare. Dressed in Day of the Dead costumes, the members of the group -- which also consists of singer Elizabeth Hopkins, percussionist Mike McKee and bassist Grant Emerson -- approach a cemetery and call forth the loved ones of those buried there. Ian Holljes, who wrote the song, says that it was inspired by the deaths of a close friend and a mentor. "These people were wonderful parts of my life," says Holljes, who donned the top hat, dark garb and cane of Baron Samedi, a voodoo spirit of death and healing, for the clip. "For me, they're not resting in peace. They remain vivid, important influences in my life. They still move me, and, in so many ways, I'm still dancing with their spirits and the memories they left behind.The song appears on the group's album, Carry the Fire, which came out in June.
As you might guess from my many posts about artist Jim Woodring, I'm beside myself with excitement about his upcoming 300-page collection of sketchbook drawings, Problematic: Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2012 [UPDATE: The original video went kaput. In its stead I've posted a video of Jim sketching for a fan.]
If you are one of the fortunate thousands who enjoy untangling the enigmatic images that fill Jim Woodring’s comics and drawings, Problematic is just the book for you to put under your pillow and dream on. Woodring is a devotee of the pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook and has filled at least one per month since 2004. Quick concept sketches, figure studies, self-challenges, finished drawings, revenge portraits and caricatures, scene tryouts... everything goes into these idea batteries. Problematic provides the adventurous viewer with a bounty of unfiltered, hand-captured glimpses of life by an artist that Publishers Weekly called, “a modern master of hallucinatory cartoon fables.” Lots of this material re-emerges in the form of pictures and storylines, but much of it is just too baffling to be harnessed for any practical use. Of course, these untamable notions are the best and most interesting ones; and there are plenty of them here in the 300-page brick of Problematic. Problematic is a rollicking amalgam of reportage (i.e. the man who blew his arm off), speculative anatomy, fancy women, make-a-face games, picture-puzzles, gags, riffs and burlesques. Catalog and exhibition simultaneously, Problematic is your best bet for a brief, energizing stroll in a distinctively enjoyable neighborhood.
Artist Bryan Silva says:
This is a Witch prosthetic for my 11 year old daughter. It was sculpted in Monster Clay and cast with Gelatin that I made based on a recipe from Matthew Mungle. This is a make up test application that I did. She's only in the prosthetic in this video, not her costume. We went to the Halloween store afterward and then to Target and she had all kinds of people looking uncomfortable. :)(Via Cynical-C)
Two gigantic truck-loads of walnuts totally 40,000 lbs have been stolen recently in Tehama County, California, apparently by the same extremely tall Russian-accented fellow. The total value of the walnuts is said to be in the $300,000 range. The walnut thief's MO is to drive up to a depot with the correct shipping numbers, have the nuts loaded up, and then disappear. From a Record Searchlight staff report:
Employees told sheriff's deputies that the driver of a white semi with a Russian accent picked up the load on Oct. 19. The walnuts were purchased by F.C. Bloxom and Co., a Seattle-based company, and to be delivered to Miami.
While investigating the strange report, deputies found out a man who matched the description of that delivery driver had picked up an order of 40,000 walnuts from Los Molinos on Oct. 23 that were supposed to be taken to Texas, deputies said.
Deputies checked with the trucking company hired by San Antonio-based Hill Country Bakery and revealed that the man who took the walnuts wasn't actually the one hired for the job, deputies said.
Come on. It's for science.
In fact, it's meant to help people.
Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, put a dead pig in a shark-proof (and octopus-proof, as you'll see) cage and stuck it in the ocean in order to learn more about how human remains decompose underwater. That knowledge will help forensic scientists interpret crime scenes.
Most of the work is done by maggots known as sea lice, but towards the end, after the maggots have eaten the good bits, you can watch some fat, red shrimp move in to pick apart the cartilage.
Via Deep Sea News
Animated GIFs from moments-of-disaster in "As Seen on TV" commercials.
Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids, folded and twisted in on themselves to make incredibly complex shapes.
The human brain, it has been said, is kind of a pattern-finding machine — prone to spotting faces on the moon, fat bunnies in the clouds, and Jesus on slices of toast.
When the two meet, you get Protein Art. May K., a Russian-born artist who lives in Germany, takes actual protein structures, sees the other things those structures seem to look an awful lot like, and then draws cartoons based on the resulting apophenia.
For instance, take a look at the protein structure above. After the jump, you can see the picture that May K. saw in its folds.
Read the rest
Tax returns for 6,461,326 tax-exempt organizations now indexable by search engines and available for free downloads, thanks to Resource.org
Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,
If you want access to all the tax filings of US nonprofit corporations, the IRS will sell you sets of DVDs for $2580 per year of data. We acquired all of these filings from 2002 to the present, a set of DVDs weighing 98.7 pounds. I'm pleased to report that all 6,461,326 of those returns are now successfully extracted and available on our new bulk data feed.
This data really should be available directly from the IRS at no charge. Accordingly, we've drafted a deed of gift offering the system back to the government.
Until the .gov people do take it over, we're offering access to all 5 TBytes of data using the http, ftp, and rsync protocols. Our hope is that developers will come up with lots of new uses for this information. In order to make the database even more useful, we've started working with Captricity to extract data from the forms and make it available as computable data (e.g., CVS files instead of TIFF images!).
Once search engines such as Google finish indexing the data, the tax filings of nonprofits will show up in the search results. When you search for a nonprofit, the first thing you see ought to be their home page. But, the next thing you ought to see are things like how much they pay their CEO, how much revenue goes for fundraising, and if they spend money to lobby public officials.
Nonprofits in the US had $1.87 trillion in 2009 revenues and it is these periodic filings that make the nonprofit marketplace work properly, just like SEC EDGAR filings help make the corporate markets work properly.
This badge sums it up. They also threaten the videographer with arrest. (Via 22 Words)
I can't sleep for more than 30 minutes or so on a plane. After that, I'm awake for the duration of the flight, no matter how long it is. I wonder if this neck-propper-upper would help?
Enter the UpRight Sleeper, a neck support that makes snoozing upright more comfortable (plus way cooler looking!). $40 takes one home, but the VERY fashionable cover costs $10 extra. I prefer the no-cover model because I'm hoping a flight attendant mistakes me for someone with a debilitating neck injury and moves me up to first class.
Here's the website for the UpRight Sleeper. But watch out -- it has a video that starts playing right away, and that narrator's voice is booming.
Geekologie: Finally, A Decent Neck-Rest For Sleeping Upright
Salt water is still winning. Unfortunately.
Remember back during the Fukushima crisis, when you heard a lot of talk about why the people trying to save the plant didn't want to use sea water to cool the reactors? There were a number of reasons for that (check out this interview Scientific American's Larry Greeenemeier did with a nuclear engineer), but one factor was the fact that salt water corrodes the heck out of metal. Pump it into a metal reactor unit and that unit won't be usable again.
Now, the corrosive power of salt water is in the news again — and this time it's ripping through New York City's underground network of subways and utility infrastructure. I like the short piece that Gizmodo's Patrick DiJusto put together, explaining why salt water in your subway is even worse than plain, old regular water:
When two different types of metal (or metal with two different components) are placed in water, they become a battery: the metal that is more reactive corrodes first, losing electrons and forming positive ions, which then go into water, while the less reactive metal becomes a cathode, absorbing those ions. This process happens much more vigorously when the water is electrically conductive, and salt water contains enough sodium and chloride ions to be 40 times more conductive than fresh water. (The chloride ion also easily penetrates the surface films of most metals, speeding corrosion even further.) Other dissolved metals in sea water, like magnesium or potassium, can cause spots of concentrated local corrosion.
Via Tom Levenson
Andrew Hearst says:
I’ve been flying more than usual the last couple of years, partly thanks to my job, and my iPad has made these travel experiences so much more enjoyable. I just load up my iPad with episodes of Top Chef, Downton Abbey, and other stuff and immerse myself for a few hours. Even after an intercontinental flight, I have plenty of charge left.
Unfortunately, an iPad propped on a seat tray doesn’t provide a very good viewing angle. You’re forced to crane your neck downward quite a bit. During longer flights, this can get uncomfortable. The best position is obviously eye level: right where a seat-back video screen is always mounted.
Earlier this year, on a flight to London on Virgin Atlantic, it occurred to me that I might be able to use a piece of string to hang my iPad’s case from the crevasse at the top of the seat in front of me. Since I didn’t have a piece of string, I used my iPhone earbuds cable instead. It worked great.
"Hands Fixing Hands" is Shane Willis's clever and well-executed transhumanist take on Escher's "Hands Drawing Hands," with lots of crunchy little details to dote upon, including the underlying work-surface, which has the look-and-feel of a real maintenance engineer's well-used case.
Mike Mechanic at Mother Jones says,
For the past few days, my father (late 70s) and my aunt (early 80s) have been stuck without power, light, running water, 12-13 stories up in NYC apartment buildings with pitch-black stairwells. They're pretty able, fortunately. In any case, my dad just abandoned ship and left the city today. My aunt is staying put, with help from the building management. But this is really a major problem that I haven't seen covered. When people outside of the big city think of power out, it seems like a minor inconvenience. Not so when you're living on the 14th floor—or the 28th. I suggested to our NYC-based multimedia producer James West and editorial fellow Tim McDonnell that they pick a building and suss out the situation. They came back yesterday with this heartrending video.